BiG NOTE: If you missed the news from earlier, BG freshman running back Andre Givens was released from Wood County Hospital early Saturday night. Givens was hit hard in the back in the third quarter of Saturday's game and was not able to get back on his feet after the hit. He was placed on a spineboard as a precautionary measure and taken by ambulance to the hospital. BG officials said Givens had movement in his arms and legs and was conscious the entire time he was on the field.
BiG TWITTER POST: BGSU defense again impressive in team's 6th straight win, limiting Eastern Michigan to 178 yards of TO in Falcons' 23-3 win at Doyt Saturday
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons took the opening kickoff and drove 77 yards on six plays, with the big play coming when quarterback Matt Schilz threw a lateral to running back Jordan Hopgood, who found Shaun Joplin alone behind the defense for a 53-yard touchdown pass. Eastern Michigan countered with a drive that ended with a 42-yard field goal by Dylan Mulder midway through the quarter, but BG bounced back with an eight-play, 84-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard TD run by Andre Givens. That was the last scoring until the third quarter, when the BG defense turned a turnover into a touchdown. Rover Gabe Martin sacked Eagles quarterback Tyler Benz and forced a fumble that Chris Jones recovered and carried 23 yards for a touchdown. The final scoring came at the end of a 10-play, 45-yard drive that Tyler Tate capped with a 28-yard field goal.
BiG PLAY: There were several choices here, but the big play came from the defense in the third quarter. The score was 14-3, with EMU facing second-and-seven on its 35. BG’s Gabe Martin sacked quarterback Tyler Benz and stripped the ball free; it bounced to defensive tackle Chris Jones, who rumbled 23 yards for the touchdown. Game, set and match for the Falcons’ fifth consecutive win as the BG defense scored a touchdown in its third consecutive game.
OFFENSIVE BiG MAN: There are a few choices for this award, but the obvious pick is senior running back John Pettigrew. He got the start in place of the injured Anthon Samuel and was impressive, finishing with a career-high 136 yards rushing on 24 carries while catching a pair of passes for 21 yards. … Receiving honorable mention are junior running back Jordan Hopgood, who carried the ball seven times for 61 yards (that’s 8.7 yards per carry) and added a nifty 53-yard touchdown pass to Shaun Joplin; and freshman running back Andre Givens, who finished with 29 net yards rushing on four carries, one of which was a 27-yard touchdown run.
DEFENSIVE BiG MAN: Most games senior defensive tackle Chris Jones would win this award, but Saturday’s contest wasn’t “most day.” In this contest the best BG defender was sophomore rover Gabe Martin, who led the Falcons with seven tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss that resulted in 20 negative yards. Those tackles for loss all counted as sacks as well. Martin also caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and also intercepted a pass. … A very close second to Martin was Jones, who had three tackles that resulted in minus-24 yards. All three were tackles for loss and sacks (he was credited with 2.5 of both), and he also had a fumble recovery that he took 23 yards for a touchdown. Others that played well for the Falcons on defense were senior LB Dwayne Woods, junior LB Paul Swan and junior safety BooBoo Gates, each of whom finished with five tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS BiG MAN: Junior punter Brian Schmiedebusch had one of his best games of the season Saturday, averaging 40.0 yards per kick on six punts. His longest kick traveled 56 yards, and four of his punts were downed inside EMU’s 20. On two returns the Eagles had minus-1 yards, meaning the Falcons averaged 40.2 net yards per punt, which is very good … Honorable mention goes to sophomore Jude Adjei-Barimah, who recovered an EMU fumble on a punt return; sophomore Victor Osborne, who recorded three tackles on five Bowling Green kickoffs; and freshman punt returner Ryan Burbrink, who had a 12-yard return and finished with two returns for 16 yards.
BiG NUMBERS: There were a lot more good numbers for the BG defense Saturday, even beyond the 178 yards of total offense allowed. One was the way the Falcons never allowed the EMU offense to get untracked, allowing them to run just 51 plays (that’s 3.5 yards per play) and limiting the Eagles to just 25:10 in time of possession. BG also was a beast on third downs, allowing Eastern Michigan to convert just 3-of-12. What’s more, the Falcons allowed EMU to gain 22 yards or less on eight of their 11 drives, including the final five in a row; in those five drives the Eagles ran 21 plays and gained a total of 33 yards (1.57 yards per play). But here are the numbers that really send me for a loop every time I think of them: In the last five games the BGSU defense has scored as many touchdowns as it has allowed (three).
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons get better play from their offense and special teams when they face Ohio in Athens, Ohio, on Nov. 7? A return to health by several key offensive players would help, and there is plenty of time to do that. But special teams were not sharp versus the Eagles, and the offense needs to be more productive to take some pressure off the defense.
BiG BONUS: Here are a few extra quotes from Saturday's game that didn't make the blogs or newspaper stories ...
- “When you play a [defense] like [Bowling Green's], that’s a really sound team, and they put eight in the box, and you cannot throw your way out of it, you’re going to struggle,” EMU coach Ron English said. “And then their pass rush took over late.”
- “I thought Eastern Michigan was playing good football offensively the past couple of weeks, so to hold that team to three points [was impressive],” Clawson said. “We generated turnovers, and we scored a touchdown.”
- “The offensive numbers weren’t great, but we did what we needed to do to win the football game,” Clawson said.